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Fentanyl Abuse

Fentanyl abuse occurs by a variety of methods, among many types of people. For example, some individuals abuse the prescription they've been given for a Fentanyl product such as:

  • Duragesic® transdermal patches
  • Mylan generic Fentanyl patches
  • Actiq® lozenges or lollipops
  • Fentora® buccal tablets
  • IV (intravenous) Fentanyl injections

Prescription Fentanyl Abuse

Fentanyl is prescribed for chronic pain and for "breakthrough pain," which can be defined as sudden-onset, intense pain that usually strikes without warning, even when a patient is taking other pain medication. The abuse of prescribed Fentanyl can occur when a patient develops (or pretends to develop) a tolerance for the Fentanyl dosage he or she has been administered.

Fentanyl abuse can also occur when an individual exaggerates the pain he is experiencing in order to obtain a prescription for this drug, or when someone simply pretends to be injured or in great pain. Conversely, physicians have "over-prescribed" Fentanyl by providing the medication (or too high a dose, or too long a treatment period) for a given patient. The Fentanyl drug is sometimes prescribed for migraine headaches or for pain experienced after surgery.

How Is the Fentanyl Patch Abused?

Duragesic fentanyl patches can be (and are) abused by many people who simply want the "high" that the patches can produce in a person who is not, in fact, in any pain. Duragesic patches contain Fentanyl in gel form, in a pouch between two membranes. A Fentanyl abuser may steal Duragesic patches from the supply given to a family member, friend, or patient in his care, then use the patches himself — transdermally or by eating the Fentanyl gel.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, fentanyl and its analogs (similar-acting drugs) are also manufactured in illegal laboratories and sold "on the street," under names such as:

  • Apache
  • China girl
  • China white
  • dance fever
  • friend
  • goodfella
  • jackpot
  • murder 8
  • TNT
  • Tango and Cash

These drugs are often substituted for or mixed with heroin or cocaine.

Fentanyl Abuse Statistics

There are no sure estimates of the number of individuals who have engaged in Fentanyl abuse in the U.S., but the volume of Fentanyl alone (more than a billion dollars in Fentanyl product sales each year) and the number of Fentanyl deaths (over 100 in recent years) suggest that the abuse is widespread.

Learn more about Fentanyl abuse — contact a Fentanyl lawyer.

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